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Investigating The Effectiveness of TMS for Depression

Investigating The Effectiveness of TMS for Depression

Here comes the sun and summertime vibes!  And while the beautiful weather can have such a significant impact on improving our mental health, for many adults, it will not. This is where TMS for depression comes in. The CDC tells us the following about depression in adults age 18 or older:

  • 4.7% of adults, 18 and older, report regular feelings of depression
  • 10.6% of adults who visited their physician indicated feelings of depression in their medical record
  • 11.2% of adults who went to an emergency department indicated feelings of depression
  • There are 14 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people

So what is depression?  Depression occurs when a person experiences feelings of sadness, emptiness or irritability and at the same time experiences body and cognitive changes. These can be feeling tired, loss of appetite or increased appetite, fatigue, poor memory, and trouble concentrating.  When these combined experiences last for at least two weeks, it could be depression. 

What is TMS for Depression?

TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, is a specific treatment for depression. Despite trying medication and therapy, depression symptoms may not improve for some people.  Sometimes, medication comes with side effects that people just can’t tolerate. This is when TMS for depression becomes an option. Bright Harbor Healthcare provides TMS treatment by using a Magstim TMS Chair.  According to Magstim, TMS therapy is able to improve the symptoms of Major Depression by addressing reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.   

TMS is a non-invasive brain stimulation, backed by over 30 years of neuroscientific and clinical research around the world. Essentially, TMS for depression has been studied extensively, is non-invasive, and FDA approved. During TMS treatment sessions, short pulses of magnetic energy are delivered to a select area of the head.  This magnetic energy stimulates the nerve cells in the brain by passing through the skull and generating an electric current in the brain directly under the treatment coil. These electric currents cause neurons to fire and stimulate the surrounding brain cells. 

How Effective is TMS for Depression?

Most of the available research on the efficacy of TMS being used for depression has been conducted with patients who have tried and failed (not found enough relief or unable to tolerate side effects) three adequate trials of antidepressants.  Patients with this type of experience are suffering from what is called “Treatment-Resistant Depression”, and only 13% of these patients will achieve remission from depression with a fourth-line medication. When TMS is used for patients with treatment-resistant depression, 57% of patients are able to achieve a positive response.

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Is TMS Safe?

TMS for depression has proven to be very safe.  It does not utilize sedation or any other drugs.  TMS therapy for depression has been recommended by the American Psychiatric Association since 2010 for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved TMS therapy for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in Adults who have not achieved enough improvement from antidepressants. 

TMS has few known side effects, the most common being mild scalp discomfort or headaches during treatment sessions. TMS patients can even resume their normal activities after treatment, including driving. 

Is TMS Right for You?

So, if you are wondering if TMS for depression might be right for you, you should try answering the following questions:

  • Has your depression treatment failed to make you feel better?
  • Has your depression treatment helped a bit, but you still don’t feel like your old self?
  • Have the side effects of your medication been difficult to deal with?

If you answered yes to these questions, then TMS for depression might be the treatment option you’ve been searching for!

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TMS at Bright Harbor Healthcare

If you’re ready to give TMS a try, the professional team at Bright Harbor Healthcare is here to help. We offer TMS therapy for residents all over Ocean County NJ and beyond. After scheduling treatment with our team, you will be able to relax knowing that long-lasting relief from your depression is on the horizon. If you have any questions about TMS for depression or any of our other outpatient services at Bright Harbor Healthcare, give us a call or fill out our contact form. We look forward to helping you live your best life and finally feel better.